Singh removed his turban to save a woman's life (Facebook/KashmirLife)
Than 500 Imams in Pakistan against Terrorism And In Favour Of Asia Bibi
Islamic Scholar: Islamic State System Not Only Caliphate
Boy Turned His Turban into a Band-Aid to Save a Life of a Bleeding Woman in
Muslims Look to Quran When Writing Wills
Islam Won': Outrage as Belgium Bans Halal, Kosher Slaughter Methods
Civilian, Military Leaders Meet; Vow to "Crush" Rakhine Rebels
President Admits Cooperation with Israel 'Closest, Deepest' Than Ever Before
Than 500 Imams against Terrorism And In Favour Of Asia Bibi
terror attacks killed 595 people in Pakistan in 2018: Report
has been breath of fresh air amid the doom and gloom we inherited: Imran Khan
for keeping Kartarpur Sahib Complex in original state
economic zone with Pakistan to open soon: Iranian consul
comes up with new plan to unite all MQM factions
Pakistanis among five foreign militants captured in Syria
Invites UN Observers to Restive Region of Xinjiang, But With 'Conditions'
Tabung Haji rally just a diversionary tactic, say pundits
Need to Return ‘Hibah’, Tabung Haji Depositors Told
Facts from Marriage Stats: Oldest Groom Is 91, Perlis Is Divorce Capital
SC On Monday Dismissed A PIL Seeking To Change The Name Of AMU
Bhopal Jailbreak and Encounter of SIMI Men Were Fake: Congress MLA Arif Masood
centre a 'Garden of Eden' in Delhi
efforts to grant citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants ‘appreciable’:
Narendra Modi discusses trade deficit, Afghanistan with US president Donald
Trump over phone
2 arms, ammunition suppliers of Hizbul Mujahideen held in Kathua
Tlaib’s Thobe inside Congress Puts Palestine on the Map
Friends Made Billions From 9/11 Attacks’
says Turkey to ‘protect’ Syrian Kurdish fighters
want to block pro-Israel bill over Trump shutdown: Report
a democratic country backs a terror group
says Syria policy unchanged even as troop withdrawal extended
vice president meets EU humanitarian official
operation seizes 'large amount' of drugs
sets himself alight inside Turkish consulate in the Netherlands
Taliban militants killed in coalition airstrike in Kandahar
leader of Taliban’s Red Unit killed in Faryab province
forces thwart militants bid to detonate a mosque in Herat
Taliban storm security posts in western province, killing 21
Taliban, US to sit down to peace talks on Wednesday
Palestine on the agenda as Arab information ministers meet
Syrian Army Preparing for Fresh Military Operations against Terrorists
of More Victims of ISIL, US Attacks Found in Raqqa
claims suicide bomber hits Kurdish centre in Syria’s Raqqa
forces conduct deadly raid in Qatif village
civilians, one Kurdish militant killed in Daesh bomb attack in Syria’s Raqqah
troops kill senior Daesh commander, capture 17 others near Mosul
Army Raids Newspaper over Boko Haram Article
Somali Military Court Executes Two Al-Shabaab Militants
Denies Netanyahu’s Claim Of Airspace Access For Israel-Bound Flights
Boko Haram militants killed in air raids
air raids strike Hamas after Gaza rocket fired
says Egypt to close Gaza crossing to Palestinians leaving enclave
Coalition providing full facilities to UN team in Yemen’s Hodeidah
reclaims Egypt-Gaza Rafah crossing as PA staffers withdraw: Officials
army forces take down Iran-built Houthi military aircraft west of Al-Jouf
by New Age Islam News Bureau
than 500 Pakistani Islamic clerics signed the "Islamabad Declaration"
against Islamic terrorism, violence committed in the name of religion and
fatwas (edicts) issued indiscriminately by radical ulema.
declaration was signed yesterday in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, during the
"Seerat-e-Rehmat-ul-Alameen (SAW) Conference", organised under the
auspices of the Pakistani Ulema Council (PUC).
initiative represents a turning point in the history of the Islamic Republic of
Pakistan, which has been marked by attacks against minorities such as
Christians as well as “infidel" Islamic sects like the Ahmadis and Shias.
document also contains a special reference to Asia Masih, better known as Asia
Bibi, a Christian mother initially sentenced to death on blasphemy charges but
later acquitted after nine years in prison. Her case, which is again under
review following a campaign by radicals, must be heard with absolute
document consists of seven points and contains elements relevant to religious
point 1, the resolution condemns murders committed "on the pretext of
religious belief", noting that this "is against the teachings of
declaration goes on to say (point 2) that no religious leader has the right to
criticise the prophets, and (point 3) no Islamic sect must be declared "infidel".
Hence, no Muslim or non-Muslim can be deemed worthy of extrajudicial killing.
All believers, whatever their religion or sect, have the constitutional right
to live in the country following their cultural and religious norms.
this comes (point 4) the right for religious groups to organise autonomously
with the consent of local administrations. Any material (books, pamphlets,
audio) that incites religious hatred should be banned (point 5).
"Islamabad Declaration" recognises that Pakistan is a multi-ethnic
and multi-religious country; therefore, (point 6) "it is the
responsibility of the government to ensure protection of life and property of
non-Muslims living in Pakistan.”
the government must deal firmly with anyone who threaten the sacred places of
non-Muslims living in Pakistan.
last point (7) the government must implement the National Action Plan against
counter violence, the clerics have decreed that 2019 will be the year "to
annihilate terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence from Pakistan."
they deplore fatwas against public servants noting that any adventurism by
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in matters of religious freedom cannot be tolerated.
resolution states that non-Muslims living in Pakistan must enjoy the same
rights as everyone else and that the government of Pakistan must protect the
basic rights of minorities.
Jakarta - Vice presidential hopeful number 01 Ma'ruf Amin said caliphate was
not the only form of an Islamic state. “State systems such as kingdom, emirate,
or even republic can be an Islamic state,” said Ma’ruf Amin during his sermon
at the Central Board (DPP) office of the United Development Party (PPP),
Sunday, January 6.
took examples of nations that did not adopt the caliphate system, such as Saudi
Arabia and Jordan with their royal system, Uni Emirates Arab including Kuwait,
Abu Dhabi, and Qatar that implement the emirate system, as well as the republic
system, “Indonesia, Egypt, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Turkey, and others.”
said the caliphate system was rejected in Indonesia despite its Islamic nature,
as it violated the country’s mutual agreement. He added this did not apply to
the caliphate system alone, but also other systems.
explained the formation of the Unitary State of Republic of Indonesia,
otherwise known as NKRI, resulted from an agreement that had long been secured
to ensure its existence as a republic. He jested that if Indonesia became a
caliphate, it would no longer be NKRI, but rather NAKHOI (the Caliphate State
also called on the people to safeguard NKRI and keep fighting for Islam, and
that there were opportunities to do so in Indonesia.
has implemented multiple Islamic regulations, such as Law on Waqf, Hajj, Sharia
Banking, and State Sharia Securities. “Our endeavors must be within the frame
of NKRI,” said the former chairman of the executive board (Rais Aam) of the
country’s largest Islamic organization, Nadhlatul Ulama.
non-active chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) did not want
Indonesia to break apart like Afghanistan. “Save this nation to remain solid.
Don’t let us share the same fate as countries in the Middle East, like
Afghanistan,” Ma’ruf said.
Amin said despite its citizens being all Muslims and its status as an oil-rich
country, Afghanistan remained a poor country due to lingering conflicts and
fanaticism that kept its people from being united.
In a beautiful display of religious bonhomie, a 20-year-old Sikh boy turned his
turban into a band-aid to save a life of a bleeding woman.
to media reports, a 45-year-old woman belonging to Muslim community was hit by
a speeding truck near Awantipora of Jammu and Kashmir and was left profusely
it is the presence of mind and sense of humanity of 20-year-old Manjeet Singh
that saved her life.
who hails from Dewar, Tral after finding the woman lying on the road in a pool
of blood rushed to her help and instantly removed his turban to plug the injury
stopping further blood loss until help arrived.
who works as a daily wager at a local agriculture university didn’t think even
once before taking off his turban. Manjeet added, “I did what anyone else in my
place would have done.”
saw her lying on the road, with blood coming out of her leg,” recalls Manjeet.
“I could not resist using my own turban to plug the wound.” He was quoted by
who chose to forgo his personal, religious obligation to save a fellow human is
praised on social media.
Muslims look to Quran when writing wills
Yousuf Beg’s father died at the age of 67, no one was prepared for it — not his
wife, not his children, and as they soon found out, not him.
he was a religious Muslim, Beg’s father had failed to leave behind a will —
which is mandatory in Islam to avoid family disputes over inheritance.
had a lot of issues,” Beg said. “My dad had debts and other relatives, so it
was quite a bit of work to make sure that everything was taken care of fairly
consulting with imams and receiving advice from friends and relatives, Beg
finally found a way to properly distribute his father’s assets in compliance
with both Islamic and Texas laws. But Beg’s experience is far from an anomaly.
44 percent of Americans reported having a will in 2016, according to a Gallup
poll. But professionals and imams estimate that number is far lower in the
American Muslim community, who have extremely detailed religious directions on
how to distribute assets to each family member. Immigrants, attorneys say, are
even less likely to leave behind wills because they could usually count on the
governments in their Muslim-majority home countries to automatically follow
Islamic guidelines. But with the American Muslim community becoming more
integrated through the children of immigrants, there has gradually been an
uptick in the demand and supply of guidance for American Islamic will-writing,
though not nearly as much as needed.
well-known and often-repeated quote states, “It is the duty of a Muslim who has
anything to bequest not to let two nights pass without writing a will about
it.” And Islamic jurisprudence (based on the Qur’an and Hadiths, or
interactions with the Prophet Muhammad) provides specific guidelines on how a
Muslim should distribute their assets.
distributing inheritance, the decedents’ assets must be used to pay off any
debts, money owed, and funeral and burial expenses. The assets that remain are
then fractioned off.
one-third of the remainder is essentially a free card. Called the wassiyah, it
can be spent however the decedent wishes, whether it’s going to friends and
family who aren’t prescribed inheritors, or being donated to charities.
other two-thirds is once again fractioned according to the family structure —
most commonly, a married couple with children. In this scenario, a man with a
deceased wife would get one-fourth of her remaining assets, and the rest would
be distributed to their children. The widower would get one-eighth of her
deceased husband’s assets. And among the children, the son inherits double what
the daughter does.
is not alone in providing distribution guidelines. Judaism has an “order of
priority” of inheritants that would receive the decedent’s entire estate,
depending on who is living: first sons (the oldest son receiving double the
others), fathers, paternal brothers, and so on. Daughters only inherit from
their fathers if there are no sons, and wives do not receive inheritance —
although they can choose to receive either a certain amount from their
pre-nuptial agreement, or receive living support from the estate until they
— and sometimes because of — the detailed instructions, American Muslims often
hit a roadblock when it comes to writing their wills. Furqan Mohammed, an
attorney and co-founder of Islamic Wills, estimated that only 10 percent of
American Muslims prepare their wills.
some, the challenge is finding services to assure a religiously and legally
sound will during a daunting, specific process — especially with more
complicated family structures. For others, the challenge is theological: How to
adapt and implement Islamic law, or sharia, in a way that agrees with American
Muslims’ varying lifestyles today.
Mattoo, born and raised in Houston, is a cancer survivor, a husband of over 15
years, and a father to a 15-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy. But he didn’t
think to write his will until he was preparing to take Hajj, or the Islamic
pilgrimage to Mecca, a few years ago. (Writing a will is one of the
prerequisites to take Hajj.)
crazy, I should’ve done it a long time ago,” he reflected.
searched for options to prepare his will. That’s when he came across My
Wassiyah — described by co-founder and Islamic scholar Joe Bradford as “like a
Legal Zoom for Muslims.”
Wassiyah contained guidelines on state law and Islamic law, and it was easy to
do,” said Mattoo, whose will took only a few hours to put together.
at $125 for a basic will, the do-it-yourself type website is a more affordable
option for American Muslims who want to avoid paying thousands of dollars to
five years ago, My Wassiyah is just one of multiple businesses that have popped
up to work within the niche of Islamic wills. Houston-based Bradford and his
business partner, who is a lawyer, saw the need to create My Wassiyah when they
were constantly being approached by people for help with writing wills and
having to turn them away — Bradford because he didn’t feel he had the legal
expertise, and his partner because he didn’t feel he had the religious
demand has been there, admittedly to varying degrees.
starting My Wassiyah in 2013, the website has attracted around 150,000 users,
Bradford said. Mohammed and his business partner, Amro Shamaileh, have worked
with around 40 clients since their soft launch of Chicago-based Islamic Wills
this year. Imani Jaafar, an attorney in Minneapolis, said writing Islamic wills
quickly became a quarter of her practice. And yet Fatima Iqbal of Azzad Asset
Management, an Islamic finance company, predominantly for high net worth
clients, said their Virginia-based business has worked with under 10 clients so
far this year.
should be more widespread, but I would blame both the supply and demand,” said
Haider ala Hamoudi, vice dean at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
brought up the same point, saying that educating the community on both the
religious and secular benefits of preparing a will has been a challenge. The
purpose of the obligatory will in Islam is to avoid conflict over material
things after a death, and allow the family the ability to properly grieve. Secularly,
of course, it’s avoiding probate court.
attorneys say the absence of a will is common among immigrants from
Muslim-majority countries, where the courts would automatically distribute a
decedent’s assets according to Islamic guidelines if they had not left a will.
kids are coming to us proactively for an estate plan, whereas the first
generation comes to us when something bad happens,” Mohammed said. “All these
people … have no idea what they should be doing, especially as they age or have
said some of her older clients who are recent immigrants were surprised they
had to write a detailed will at all, assuming that a note stating they wanted
everything distributed according to Islamic law would be enough.
can be dangerous because there’s definitely courts that will say, ‘We don’t
interpret Islamic law, we’re a secular court,’” Hamoudi said.
courts then end up calling in experts, who may have differing interpretations
of sharia, “and the court gets nervous because it feels like it’s starting to
engage in deciding whose interpretation of the Quran is more sound.”
said that nervousness heightens with anti-sharia dialogue and sentiment, which
Hamoudi said “has permeated the legal field,” keeping attorneys on high alert.
A 2013 Pew Research Center study found that 32 states had introduced bills to
restrict foreign and religious laws’ influence on courts’ decisions. In a 2017
study, Pew found that Americans felt the least warm toward Muslims out of nine
make sure the language (in our wills) is very clear and secular, especially
with anti-sharia legislation being proposed,” Iqbal said.
with 15 religious groups having their own established religious courts in the
United States, according to Pew, and many existing precedents establishing the
relationship between religious and secular laws set by the Jewish community in
New York courts, other attorneys are less concerned.
the Islamic Society of Greater Houston’s Maryam Islamic Center in Sugar Land,
dozens of people attended a four-hour lecture that Bradford presented on estate
planning on a recent Sunday afternoon. Hands shot up in the air as he described
things like distribution fractions, joint tenancy and using trusts. And during
a mid-conference break, Bradford was approached by audience members asking
whether they could leave their daughters the same amount as their sons.
the varying and evolving lifestyles of American Muslims, theological questions
challenging set distributions have also been raised — particularly concerning
adopted and non-Muslim children, who are not given inheritance rights, and the
unequal distribution among women.
the disparate distribution among men and women may seem unjust in the modern
context, Islam was actually the first religion to give women the right to
said he explains to his clients that while sons may receive more money, it
comes with more strings attached.
way the money is given and what it’s allowed to be used for by sons and
daughters is drastically different,” he said. “The daughter can use it for
anything, the son’s obligations are toward the family first and foremost.”
Mohammed said, he and Shamaileh follow a client’s wishes if they choose to
equally distribute assets among their children, but put in writing that the
will is not entirely Islamically sound. Jaafar follows a similar procedure with
clients who express discomfort with unequal gifting.
others have a different take, recognizing unique family situations and that
many modern women are financially independent.
often fixate on rules, that this is what’s mandated,” Iqbal said. “But Islamic
guidelines also offer a lot of flexibility in areas people don’t realize.”
example, a popular workaround is using funds from the wassiyah portion to
distribute as one wishes among their children, regardless of their gender,
religion or biological relationship. Lifetime gifts or trusts are another
option as well.
different schools of Islamic thought may have contradicting interpretations
regarding these loopholes, Bradford said as long as there’s a conversation
explaining one’s decisions to inheritors in advance, it’s OK.
there is room within the same laws and rules God created, then what’s the
problem? Is it our own dogmatic reading of these texts, or is it simply taking
an allowance that He has given us? I opt for the latter,” Bradford reasoned.
“It takes a sophisticated reading of the sources to say when you can and cannot
give a religious stamp of approval — one that many people working in this area
professional options for American Muslims to turn to throughout the estate
planning process are slowly rising, those already in the field say there are
not nearly enough for the size of the community.
has been a considerable lack of familiarity within the Bar on how to do a
proper Islamic will,” Hamoudi said. “Ultimately it’s going to be a niche
business, and we should have a broader set of Muslim and non-Muslim lawyers
familiar with it.”
the nation’s 3.45 million Muslims making up just over 1 percent of the U.S.
population and that segment growing by about 100,000 people a year, the market
for that niche business is there. That holds particularly true for Houston,
which is estimated to have the largest Muslim population — over 1 percent of
the city’s population — in Texas.
want Islamic estate planning because we want Muslims to integrate,” Bradford
said. “To feel that they have the ability to live out the values of their faith
under the umbrella of the American legal system.”
and Muslim traditions stipulate that animals must be in perfect health when
they are killed, which is directly at odds with some European laws that require
livestock to be incapable of feeling pain when they are slaughtered.
region of Flanders has officially outlawed kosher and halal animal slaughtering
methods, prompting Jews and Muslims, who argue that such a measure amounts to
religious discrimination, to file lawsuits.
European countries offer religious waivers that allow for the production of
halal and kosher meat, although EU regulations state animals must be rendered
insensible before being slaughtered so they cannot feel pain.
halal and kosher methods do not envisage stunning animals, with religious laws
requiring the animals to be perfectly healthy and alive when their necks are
cut, Belgium made the decision, which has sparked a furious backlash from those
and Jewish religious leaders are now challenging the change, saying it violates
their religious freedom, and insist that halal and kosher methods are more
Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, has,
in fact, claimed that the ban was a sign that "radical Islam has
are in the midst of an attack on the freedom of religion. The European capital
has, with its laws and lack of tolerance for minorities, proven that radical
Islam has won. We managed to block many [similar pieces] of legislation in
other countries in Europe and attempts to pass bills in the European Parliament
and initiatives in the EU’s agencies".
Rabbi, Menachem Margolin, chairman of the Europe Jewish Association (EJA), told
i24NEWS that this kind of action "sets a bad example for other
puts a shadow on our community and Jewish laws, as it is essentially saying
that we cannot be trusted with the welfare of animals – that we need government
supervision. This is a terrible precedent to set on an international
lawyer representing Islamic institutions, Joos Roets, told The Times that the
ban was motivated by religious discrimination rather than animal rights.
government asked for our advice on the ban, we responded negatively, but the
advice wasn’t taken. This ban is presented as a revelation by animal rights
activists, but the debate on animal welfare in Islam has been going on for
1,500 years. Our way of ritual slaughtering is painless", The Times cited
Saatci Bayram, a Muslim leader in Belgium, as saying.
New York Times quoted Ann De Greef, director of Global Action in the Interest
of Animals, a Belgian animal rights group, who said that stunning doesn't clash
with kosher and halal methods, and "they could still consider it ritual
slaughtering," but the religious leaders won't accept that.
want to keep living in the Middle Ages and continue to slaughter without
stunning — as the technique didn’t yet exist back then — without having to
answer to the law. Well, I’m sorry, in Belgium the law is above religion and
that will stay like that".
has joined Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and Slovenia among the nations
that do not provide for any exceptions. The European country with a population
of around 11 million, is home to over 30,000 Jews and some 500,000 Muslims.
Myanmar government leader Aung San Suu Kyi discussed insurgent attacks on Myanmar
police on Monday in a rare meeting with the military chief, and her administration
called for the armed forces to "crush" the rebels, a government
between government forces and the rebel Arakan Army in the western state of Rakhine
has displaced thousands of people since early December, according to the United
Arakan Army wants greater autonomy for Rakhine, where the mainly Buddhist Rakhine
ethnic group makes up the majority of the population.
State saw a military-led crackdown in 2017, following attacks by Rohingya Muslim
insurgents that prompted hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee westwards into
government spokesman Zaw Htay said Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other cabinet
members met military leaders, including army chief Min Aung Hlaing, his deputy nd the military intelligence chief, to discuss
"foreign affairs and national security".
president's office has instructed the military to launch an operation to crush
the terrorists," Zaw Htay told a news conference in the capital,
Suu Kyi is barred from being president by a military-drafted constitution, Win
Myint is a loyalist. Suu Kyi is seen as de facto leader of the civilian
government, while the military remains in charge of security.
insurgents killed 13 policemen and wounded nine in attacks on four police posts
on Friday, as Myanmar celebrated Independence Day, state media reported.
Arakan Army spokesman outside Myanmar told Reuters last week the group attacked
the security forces in response to a broad military offensive in northern
Rakhine State that also targeted civilians.
U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Monday that
4,500 people were sheltering in monasteries and communal spaces after being
displaced by the fighting in the past month.
Htay described the Arakan Army as a "terrorist organization" and said
it had surprised security forces on guard against Rohingya insurgents.
said the Arakan Army could destabilise Rakhine State for years to come and
warned people not to give it support.
they want to see a cycle of violence lasting decades?" he said. "I
want to tell Rakhine people who are supporting (the Arakan Army):
think about yourself, but think about your next generation."
governments have battled various ethnic minority insurgent groups since shortly
after independence from Britain in 1948, though some have struck ceasefire
Htay also accused the Arakan Army of meeting the Arakan Rohingya Salvation
Army, a group of Rohingya insurgents that Myanmar also considers terrorists but
added that Myanmar was unable to eliminate the groups as they had bases across
the border in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi foreign ministry official and two Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB)
officers denied the accusation.
BGB officer asked Myanmar to provide evidence of militant camps in Bangladesh.
the terrorism is taking place on the other side of the border," said
Lieutenant Colonel Manzural Hasan Khan, a BGB commander in Cox's Bazar, the
district where more than 900,000 Rohingya Muslims are sheltering having fled
bouts of violence that have drawn international condemnation against Myanmar.
world knows what happened on the other side," he said.
Myanmar government and military leaders also discussed a temporary ceasefire
the military announced last month in other parts of the country, where other
insurgent groups operate, Zaw Htay said.
meeting was held at the request of the president's office, he said.
president admits cooperation with Israel 'closest, deepest' than ever before
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has acknowledged that his administration has
maintained very deep relations with the Tel Aviv regime and is engaged in
military cooperation with Israel in the restive Sinai Peninsula.
made the rare acknowledgment during an interview with US television network
CBS’s “60 Minutes,” which was aired on Sunday.
comes as Egypt, under Sis’s rule, has quietly cooperated with Israel on
security in the desert peninsula.
whether the cooperation was the closest and deepest that he has had with
Israel, Sisi responded, "That is correct. The Air Force sometimes needs to
cross to the Israeli side. And that's why we have a wide range of coordination
with the Israelis."
why he had not managed to wipe the ongoing militancy out after receiving more
than $1bn in annual US military aid, Sisi responded by pointing to the
challenges that Washington has faced in Afghanistan against the Taliban.
hasn't the US eliminated the terrorists in Afghanistan after 17 years and
spending a trillion dollars?" Sisi asked.
in his remarks, Sisi, who won a second four-year term in office last year after
running virtually unopposed, said that cooperation with Israel can be a
sensitive and potentially damaging topic in Egypt.
military last year denied media reports that it was cooperating with Israel in
the violence-hit region of northern Sinai.
CBS networks broadcast the interview with Sisi despite a request by the
Egyptian government not to air the program.
the airing of the interview, CBS had said the information given by Sisi was
"not the kind of news his government wanted broadcast."
60 Minutes team was contacted by the Egyptian ambassador shortly after and told
the interview could not be aired," the network said.
has full diplomatic relations with only two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, but
reports suggest the regime is working behind the scenes to establish formal
contact with Saudi Arabia and its allies.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly traveled to Egypt in May last year
for talks with Sisi.
senior official of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement said in November
2018 that the willingness shown by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies to
establish diplomatic relations with the Tel Aviv regime has exceeded all
expectations of Israeli officials, with Netanyahu saying he was not dreaming
the day would come when he sees normalized ties with the Persian Gulf kingdoms.
fact that the sheikhdoms are dramatically warming their relations with the Tel
Aviv regime after secret contacts shows the policy is a decision dictated to
them by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, Deputy Chairman
of Hezbollah's Executive Council Sheikh Nabil Qaouq said.
Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz visited Oman on November
4 last year to attend an international transport conference and pitch a railway
project that would link the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean via the
trip came on the heels of a surprise visit by Netanyahu to Oman in late October
2018, where he met Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said at the Bait al-Barakah
Royal Palace in the coastal city of Seeb near the capital Muscat.
unpublicized visit to Oman came on the same day that Israeli Culture and Sports
Minister Miri Regev traveled to the United Arab Emirates to accompany Israel’s
judo team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2018.
is evident that any progress in the Arab-Israeli relations can only happen at
the expense of the Palestinians. Critics say Saudi Arabia’s flirtation with
Israel would undermine global efforts to isolate Tel Aviv and harm the
Palestinian cause. They also say Riyadh has gone too far in its cooperation
with Tel Aviv as a way of confronting Tehran.
a statement released in November last year, US President Donald Trump said
Washington intends to remain "a steadfast partner" of Riyadh to
ensure the interests of the United States, Israel and the regional allies.
earlier also stressed that the stability of Saudi Arabia benefits Tel Aviv,
saying “Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia."
put further pressure on other Persian Gulf states to normalize their relations
with Israel this year when it formed an alliance with Washington and Tel Aviv
to protect its beleaguered crown prince in the aftermath of the murder of Saudi
journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October
At least 595 people, including Pakistani security officials, have been killed
and 1,030 others injured in 262 terror attacks in the country in 2018,
according to a report.
of the attacks were targeted at security and law enforcement agencies. Among
these attacks, the most menacing were carried out on political leaders and
deadliest attacks took place in the run-up to the July 25 general elections,
the Pak Institute for Peace Studies' (PIPS), an Islamabad-based think tank,
said in its annual Pakistan Security Report 2018.
July, a suicide bomber killed 128 people at an election rally in southwestern
Pakistan in the second election-related attack.
bombing was the most deadly attack in Pakistan in over three years.
stated that there was a "29 per cent decline in terrorist attacks and 27
per cent in consequent fatalities in 2018, compared to previous year".
PIPS said that about 38 per cent of the total 595 people killed in acts of terrorism
in Pakistan in 2018 were the result of five lethal attacks claimed by ISIS in
Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
was the only region where terrorism-related killings surged, by over 23 per
cent, when compared to 2017; most of these fatalities resulted from attacks by
religiously-inspired militant groups," according to the report.
171 attacks in entire Pakistan were perpetrated by the Tehreek-e-Taliban
Pakistan (TTP) and its splinter groups - Jamaatul Ahrar, Hizbul Ahrar and others,
which killed 449 people.
insurgent groups, mostly in Balochistan and a few in Sindh, carried out 80
attacks, martyring 96 people.
many as 11 terrorist attacks were sectarian-related, killing 50 people and
injuring 45 others," it said.
than half of these attacks, around 136, hit security and law enforcement
security forces killed a total of 120 militants in 2018 as compared to 524 in
noted that 24 attacks were against political leaders and workers, in which 218
people were killed martyred and 394 injured.
total of 131 cross-border attacks from Pakistan's borders with Afghanistan,
India and Iran, claiming 111 lives and injuring 290 others.
remained the centre of attention with 354 people martyred in attacks while 59
per cent of the total toll in Pakistan took place in the province.
PIPS report called for comprehensive policy and action to completely end
violence from the country.
said that questions were raised on the status of those banned individuals who
signed Paigham-e-Pakistan - a violence- opposing decree - but continued to held
protests and even paralysing cities.
Minister Imran Khan, in an interview aired on Monday, said that when PTI came
into power Pakistan was facing a record current account deficit but "China
has been a breath of fresh air" in this otherwise gloom and doom
an interview to Turkey’s news channel TRT World, the prime minister said though
the country “was facing multiple crises including a weak economy and foreign
debts, the [PTI] government will meet all these challenges with effective
was of the view that Pakistan's economy has improved during the past four
months. The premier praised China for its support, saying "they have been
helpful to us in areas I can't even tell".
read: Can Imran Khan fix Pakistan's economy?
on the current situation in India occupied Kashmir, Imran Khan said India was
involved in committing human rights violations in the occupied region “but it
will never succeed in suppressing the freedom movement of Kashmiris”.
wants [to hold] dialogue with India but New Delhi has refused Islamabad's offer
several times,” the premier was quoted as saying.
The American Sikh Council (ASC) and the Sikh in America (SIA) have appealed to
the Pakistani government to make sure that the Kartarpur Sahib Complex (KSC) is
maintained in its original state.
message posted at the website of the ASC reads that “any structural changes
and/or additions to accommodate upcoming huge visitors either coming from
India, Pakistan or Sikh diaspora living across globe by lodging to restrooms
and more must be done at a distance, away from the main KSC so that the
Kartarpur Sahib original farms, natural areas spread around 100 acres of land
that belonged to Guru Sahibji, and the forest areas around the River Ravi can
retain as much of its originality as possible. This needs to be preserved in
its original landscape for posterity”.
appeal was made in the background of recent development where both Pakistani
and Indian governments agreed to open up Kartarpur Corridor for Sikhs to visit
the birthplace of their prophet Baba Guru Nanak.
Gurdas Singh, ASC president, and Gurinder Pal Singh, SIA president, told Dawn
by phone the Pakistani government might change the original archeological and
cultural structure and lawns of the complex.
Pal Singh said they feared that in the name of development sometimes original
and historical architecture were not being taken care of by contractors.
efforts must be and should be kept at bay without compromising original
structure spread across 100 acres,” he explained.
said the Auqaf Department and the Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandak Committee must
understand the legitimate concerns of the Sikh diaspora.
said Sikhs everywhere yearned to visit the Kartarpur Sahibje and see the fields
that their wondrous ‘Guru’ tilled with his own hands, the place where he lived,
the trees he sat under and feel and touch their forehead on the same dusty soil
that their ‘Guru’ walked on!
ASC and SIA presidents thanked the Pakistani government for opening the
Kartarpur Corridor and taking “proactive step towards peace and amity of two
people (Indian Punjab and Pakistani Punjab) who have so much in common, from
language to food, from Punjabi poetry to clothes and so much more”.
Gurdas told Dawn a group of young American Sikhs started a Facebook page to
monitor and report on the developments of the Kartarpur Corridor and to make
concerned voices heard in regards to the development.
Singh says Kartarpur Sahib is the place where the founder of the Sikh faith
spent 18.5 years of his life as a farmer, a householder, a husband, a father
while spreading the word of love, humanism, universal sisterhood and brotherhood
and making sure that his followers learnt how to raise their voices against any
kind of tyranny, be it state repression or social discrimination.
Iranian Consul General Mohammad Rafiee in a meeting with Balochistan Chief
Minister Jam Kamal on Monday said that the Pak-Iran free economic zone would be
inaugurated in Mirjaveh city of Sistan-Baluchestan province in the coming days.
the meeting, the two sides called for expanding Pak-Iran border trade and
economic zones to foster economic relations. They also discussed implementation
of decisions taken by the Pak-Iran Border Commission and Joint Border Trade
Disgruntled Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Dr Farooq Sattar said on
Monday that he would soon announce a new forum — the Muttahida Qaumi Council
(MQC) — to unite all factions of the once-unified Mohajir Qaumi Movement.
have been contacting everyone and [reminding them] we all were at the same
platform in 1986 whether it was Mustafa Kamal, Anis Kaimkhani, Afaq Ahmed or
Saleem Haider,” he told reporters after his court appearance at City Courts.
will very soon announce the formation of the Muttahida Qaumi Council ... and
senior lawyers, doctors, engineers, traders, businessmen and people from all
linguistic backgrounds will be part of it,” he added.
was the mission of Shaheed Ali Raza Abidi bhai and we have to take it forward
to unite everyone,” he said, referring to the slain MQM-P leader who was gunned
down on Dec 25, 2018 in front of his Defence residence.
Sattar has been ousted from the MQM-P by his rivals, better known as the
Bahadurabad group, after he announced an Organisation Restoration Committee
(ORC) in October last. Since then, he has been very critical of his opponents,
including Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar.
asked whether he had contacted Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi chief Afaq Ahmed
and Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Mustafa Kamal, he said he had sent them a
message and would personally contact them after formally announcing the MQC
later this week.
a question, he said the head of the “MQM of 1986” would be chosen by workers
whether MQM founder Altaf Hussain would get any role in the new forum, he said:
“We had dissociated ourselves from London ... I am not providing space to
London and the MQM founder, but the way elections were engineered and I was removed
... it all goes in London’s favour.”
however, made it clear that he was not going to launch a new party. “We have to
make this party [MQM] the party of 1986. There is no new name or party. We have
to reorganise this party and make it the party of the poor and common people.”
destroying people’s livelihood’
Mayor Wasim Akhtar for razing around 9,000 shops in Karachi in the name of
drive against encroachments, he said: “I don’t know who the mayor is pleasing.”
said the mayor was destroying the livelihood of the people of Karachi.
coordination committee of the MQM-Pakistan, including Amir Khan, Kanwar Naveed
and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, must stop Mayor Akhtar from “destruction” of
people’s property and businesses, he demanded.
appealed to the prime minister to take immediate action to solve the water
problem in Karachi and to avoid “water riots” in the upcoming summer.
better security for all politicians
criticised the law enforcement agencies for asking him and other political
leaders to restrict their movement in view of threats following the murder of
PSP workers and Mr Abidi. He said he could not limit his movement.
said it was the responsibility of the government to provide security to all
political leaders under threat.
Kurdish-led force battling the remnants of the militant Islamic State group in
eastern Syria said on Monday it captured five foreign fighters, including two
US and as many Pakistani citizens.
two Americans, two Pakistanis and an Irishman were part of a cell planning an
attack on civilians fleeing the militant group’s last bastion, the Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) said.
SDF has spearheaded the battle against IS in eastern Syria and is close to
flushing out the militants from their last pocket near the Iraqi border.
force, which receives key support in the air and on the ground from the US
military, said in a statement that the militants were captured on December 30.
SDF said its forces detected “a group of terrorists who had been preparing to
attack the civilians who were trying to get out of the war zone”.
operation against the cell was carried out by our forces,” it said.
published mugshots of the five foreign fighters and provided the following
names: – Warren Christopher Clark, USA – Alexandr Ruzmatovich Bekmirzaev,
Ireland – Zaid Abed al-Hamid, USA – Fadel al-Rahman, Pakistan – Abed al-Azem
Kurds in northeastern Syria say they hold around 1,000 foreign fighters, as
well as 550 foreign women and 1,200 children who lived with them.
are from dozens of different nationalities and include a significant contingent
from France, the main US partner in the coalition assisting Kurdish forces.
numbers of US militants held by the Kurds are believed to be small.
fate of these foreign fighters and their families is a complex and sensitive
countries are reluctant to bring them back home while Syria’s Kurds argue they
do not have the capacity to keep them locked up much longer.
SDF, backed by coalition air strikes, has achieved major gains since the launch
four months ago of an offensive to root out IS from the last rump of the
once-sprawling “caliphate” it proclaimed in 2014.
militants are clinging to a handful of villages in the Euphrates River Valley.
invites UN observers to restive region of Xinjiang, but with 'conditions'
said on Monday it would welcome UN officials to the restive western region of
Xinjiang with the condition that they stay out of the country's internal
comes after UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in December that her
office was seeking access to the region to verify reports of re-education camps
holding Muslim minorities.
of gross human rights violations targeting the Uighur ethnic minority in the
region in China's northwest, which shares a border with Pakistan and
Afghanistan, have leaked out in the past year.
is an open region, we welcome all parties, including UN officials, to visit, if
they abide by China's laws and regulations, and go through the proper travel
procedures,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press
he warned that foreign nationals, including UN officials and experts, should
avoid interfering in China's internal affairs.
foreign ministry regularly claims it welcomes visits to Xinjiang from foreign
journalists and officials.
foreign journalists travelling to the region are frequently detained and
followed by police to prevent and obstruct reporting on the internment camps
and treatment of Uighurs.
has long imposed draconian restrictions on the lives of Muslim minorities in
the region in the name of combating terrorism and separatism.
police measures have intensified in recent years, and an independent UN panel
believes as many as one million ethnic Uighurs and other Turkic Muslim
minorities are being held in re-education centres.
say ethnic minorities can be detained for transgressions as minor has wearing
long beards or face veils.
LUMPUR, Jan 8 — A demonstration planned by Umno and PAS to protest the alleged
“meddling” of the Finance Ministry in Lembaga Tabung Haji’s affairs is simply
an attempt to distract the public from the Muslim pilgrimage fund’s financial
consultant Terence Fernandez said both Umno and PAS were once again using race
and religion to cover up their own alleged wrongdoings.
they can fuel this narrative of the Finance Ministry meddling with Tabung
Haji’s affairs even more because the ministry is headed by an ethnic Chinese
who is the secretary-general of the DAP. It’s a classic diversion act from the
corruption in Tabung Haji and the mismanagement of pilgrims’ funds.
counter this, I would suggest a royal commission of inquiry to look into the
dealings of Tabung Haji. This will help address the racist and religious
narrative that is being utilised to distract the public’s attention,” suggested
award-winning former journalist also predicted that during the rally planned
for January 18, both Malay-based Opposition parties will twist Finance Minister
Lim Guan Eng’s intention of rescuing the fund.
Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Oh Ei Sun echoed Fernandez’s
observation and noted that it was rather curious for a Muslim-based party like
PAS to organise the protest with Umno in the first place.
anything, the government is trying to salvage both the reputation and financial
viability of Tabung Haji by placing it under Bank Negara Malaysia supervision.
it is very curious why such protests are planned, other than to distract the
public from the real issues at hand, namely the rescue of Tabung Haji and the
search for the real culprits liable for the missing funds,” said Oh.
the analyst also acknowledged that PAS could be trying to save the face of its
president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang since he backed the then Umno-led Barisan
Nasional (BN) government when the financial irregularities was first exposed in
Hadi had slammed PKR’s vice-president Rafizi Ramli for revealing Tabung Haji’s
money problems back in 2014.
UTM’s Perdana School associate professor Azmi Hassan pointed out that Umno and
PAS were very strategic in how they have played up the Tabung Haji issue for
the Malay-Muslim majority by setting up the finance minister as a target.
term ‘meddling’ used show Umno and PAS’s objection to the Finance Ministry is
not only strategic, but very appropriate due to the delicate and sensitive
Tabung Haji issue.
I said strategic is that the issue is close to the Malays, and Umno and PAS are
trying to show that the Finance Ministry, which is headed by Lim, has ulterior
motives for this issue.
is strategically correct when both Umno and PAS did not use Azeez as the
scapegoat since there is no evidence that Azeez plus the few Tabung Haji
executives were involved in corruption,” said Azmi, referring to the fund’s
former chairman and Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.
academic said the synergy between PAS and Umno was similar to a rally they
organised last month to protest against the International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), a United Nations treaty
on racial equality.
warned the current government to handle the Tabung Haji situation properly or
face a repeat of the racial sentiments incited over the ICERD.
and PAS, together with Muslim umbrella group Ummah, organised a massive rally which
saw tens of thousands of Malay-Muslims nationwide gather at Dataran Merdeka to
thank the government for not ratifying the United Nation’s anti-discrimination
government had originally intended to ratify the agreement, but in the face of
mounting opposition from Umno, PAS and Malay rights groups, bowed to pressure.
need to return ‘hibah’, Tabung Haji depositors told
Jan 8 — Depositors of the Pilgrims Fund Board or Tabung Haji (TH) are not
required to return the “hibah” (bonus) that have been given to them, Minister
in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said today.
said the reason being that the depositors had no knowledge of the
misappropriation of fund in TH.
is not a problem by the (hibah) recipients, but that of the management. So,
what we’ll do is to rectify the matter and get the management to do the right
need not have to worry about paying back the hibah,” he told a media conference
after the handing over of RM25 million in allocation under the 2019 Budget for
registered pondok schools by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng here today.
said this in response to public concern over the “halal’ status of the hibah”
received by TH depositors.
followed a report that Tabung Haji had been illegally paying the “hibah” to its
depositors since 2014, which contravened the Tabung Haji Act 1995 as TH had
more debts than assets in the previous years.
the issue of non-Muslim restaurants displaying Quranic verses at their premises
to attract Muslim customers, Mujahid said the Malaysian Islamic Development
Department (Jakim) and the Domestic
Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry would act if there were reports.
issue on a non-Muslim operating a “mamak” restaurant cropped up following a
video recording, which went viral, on an incident where an employee of a
restaurant at Section 25 in Shah Alam slapped a man for smoking at the
facts from marriage stats: Oldest groom is 91, Perlis is divorce capital
LUMPUR, Jan 8 — The Department of Statistics Malaysia released its Marriage and
Divorce Statistics 2018 last month, detailing the records taken in 2016 and
Mail reported last month that fewer Malaysians married in 2017 compared to
2016, but also fewer were getting divorced over the same period — with the most
number of divorcees between 30 and 34.
took a deeper look at the report and statistics, and discovered a few more gems
that might shed more insight into the gripping but sometimes perplexing
institution of marriage here:
Muslims get married earlier
the board, in 2017, men on average got married later at 29 years compared to 28
in 2016. In comparison, women’s average age of marriage remained at 26.
that, statistics showed that on average, Muslims got married earlier than
non-Muslims. The median age of Muslim grooms was 27, three years younger than
non-Muslims at 30.
the average age of Muslim brides was 26, two years younger than non-Muslims at
and women in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya also got
married at a significantly later age than in any other state, with the median
age of grooms and brides there at 30 and 28 respectively.
Oldest groom is 91, oldest bride is 84
2017, around one in 100 men older than 65 took a bride between 16 and 24 years
old — making their brides more than 40 years their junior!
around two in 100 women over 65 years also married younger men aged from 18 to
not much data was provided for such cases, so we could not find out more about
Perlis has highest divorce rate
such a small state, Perlis recorded the highest proportion of divorces, with a
crude divorce rate (CDR) of 2.6 divorce cases per 1,000 people. This was
followed by Terengganu (2.2) and Negri Sembilan (2.1).
put that into context, the national CDR was 1.6.
also recorded the highest proportion of divorces for both Muslim and non-Muslim
males, at 12.5 per 1,000 people and 4.7, respectively, compared to 9.0 and 3.5
counted by total amount, Selangor, which also has the largest population in the
country, naturally had the highest number of divorce cases in 2017 at 10,862.
Fewer inter-ethnic marriages
were fewer inter-ethnic marriages in 2017 compared to 2016, with the number of
such marriages among Muslims falling 9.2 per cent from 6,240 to 5,665.
non-Muslim inter-ethnic marriages also fell 2.9 per cent from 10,047 to 9,758.
half of Muslim inter-ethnic marriages were between Bumiputera brides and grooms
from the “Others” group — that were not Bumiputera, ethnic Chinese or ethnic
was followed by Bumiputera grooms with “Others” brides.
non-Muslims, over half of such marriages were between Chinese grooms and
December the most popular wedding month
could only guess that this was due to the long one-month school holiday and
festive season at the end of the year.
second most popular month in 2017 to tie the knot was March, with a one-week
mid-term school holiday.
DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a PIL seeking to change the name
of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).”You want us to do that,” asked Chief
Justice Ranjan Gogoi while dismissing the plea.
over 467.6 hectares, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is a central
university. AMU was established by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as Mohammedan
Anglo-Oriental College in 1875. In the year 1920, it was renamed as Aligarh
offers more than 300 courses in the traditional and modern branches of
draws students from all across India and also overseas.
Bhopal jailbreak and encounter of SIMI men were fake: Congress MLA Arif Masood
A first-time Congress MLA and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB)
member Arif Masood raised on Monday the issue of Bhopal central jailbreak of
2016 and subsequent killing of eight operatives of the banned Students Islamic
Movement of India (SIMI) in an alleged encounter.
both jailbreak and the killing of the eight men in alleged encounter by police
as fake, Masood said, "Entire episode, spanning from the early morning
alleged jailbreak by the eight inmates to their killing by police in an
encounter on outskirts of Bhopal a few hours later on October 30-31 was
nothing, but fake. I've already filed a petition before the Supreme Court,
demanding a fresh probe by a sitting judge of High Court. I'll now seek the
opinion of lawyers and if cleared by them, will raise the matter in the state
assembly and demand fresh judicial probe from our government."
newly appointed MP home minister Bala Bachchan, when questioned about the
statements of his party's first-time MLA, tried to play down the matter.
"I'll have to first take up the issue with CM Kamal Nath, only after which
I can tell journalists the government's stand over the issue."
one-man judicial commission which probed the jailbreak encounter killing
submitted its report in 2017, which was tabled in the Vidhan Sabha in June last
year. As the report has already been submitted, we'll first have to take up the
matter with CM, the home minister maintained.
two Bhopal MLAs of opposition BJP Vishwas Sarang and Rameshwar Sharma objected
to the Congress MLA Arif Masood's statement as highly objectionable. "Such
statements will not only boost the sentiments of anti-nationals but also have a
debilitating effect on the morale of the police force. We'll protest any future
move by the government to order a fresh probe into the case. We want to know
from the CM Kamal Nath and Congress
national president Rahul Gandhi, whether the statements of the Bhopal-Madhya
MLA are his personal views or the party's official stand over the sensitive
issue," the BJP MLA duo told journalists.
the intervening night of October 30-31 (Diwali night) in 2016, eight SIMI men
lodged at the Bhopal Central Jail reportedly escaped from the high-security
block of the jail after killing jail guard Ramashankar Yadav and holding his
colleague Chandan hostage. A few hours later, all eight jail-breakers were
gunned down by police in an encounter on the outskirts of Bhopal.
pressure of rights groups and social activists doubting the jailbreak and
subsequent encounter, a one member judicial panel headed by retired HC judge SK
Pandey was constituted by then Shivraj Singh Chouhan government on November 7,
2016, to probe all aspects of the case.
Delhi Archdiocese has set up an eco-spirituality center for meditation on the
edge of the capital powered by renewable energy that features quake-proof
cottages, an organic diet and farm animals.
is called Ish Vatika (the Garden of God) and is managed by Father Stanley
Kozhichira, national president of the Catholic media organization Signis India.
on two-and-half acres of lush farmland, it is far from the madding city crowd
and is populated with cows, goats, dogs, chickens and ducks.
takes a rest here in all its pristine beauty. There are flowers and trees as
well as an artificially created pond.
project was started in 2014 and began functioning in 2018. When fully
completed, it will have 10 cottages where people can spend days rejuvenating
their spiritual life.
quiet place is designed "to speak a thousand words" to inspire
visitors, the priest said. Those interested in a short stay can "recharge
their batteries and rediscover themselves," he added.
Joseph, a mechanical engineer by profession, went to spend an evening in the
garden. "In today's fast-paced life, it is essential to apply the brakes
sometimes and turn to the Lord," he said.
we are immersed in our jobs. And then we return to our mobile phones, WhatsApp
and the virtual world. Human interaction and nature seem to be far from our
agenda. Then we find things start to go topsy-turvy.
is why I find Ish Vatika such a boon. It is place to reflect, breathe fresh air
and be one with the creator. Even kids enjoy coming here."
her young age, kindergarten student Sarah Varghese also takes solace in the
garden's comforting natural environment. "I love to watch the ducks and
play with the goats and rabbits," she said. "I pray to God that my
goat doesn't get cold."
mother Susan Joseph, a student counselor, said it feels like a green paradise
compared to India's choked and polluted cities and towns. "We come here to
unwind and pray," she told ucanews.com. "I come here to rediscover
myself, and I encourage others to do the same."
Stephen, another city slicker, said he appreciates the village ambiance and the
time spent in closer connection with nature.
like my village home — a home away from home," he said. "For me it is
like combining fun and faith. It is so soothing to breathe some fresh air and
not be disturbed by traffic. Out here in the open, I can escape my problems at
home and open up to the Lord. I can reflect on who I am and what I should be
and his friends are members of a Catholic group called Jesus Youth. Father
Kozhichira is the unit chaplain of the group's Delhi branch. "We continue
to seek spiritual guidance from him," Stephen said.
seminarians who visited in December from their base in old Delhi for a weekend
recollection were full of praise for what the venue has to offer.
Saroj Kumar Nayak from the eastern state of Odisha and Brother Kurma Bhagya
Raju from Andhra Pradesh in southern India said they felt blessed to be there.
this beautiful green expanse we can feel God's presence in every single plant
and every creature as they radiate the love God has for us," Nayak said.
can pray anywhere but here we can also relax, which makes it easier to reflect.
The cottages also have comfortable beds and the facilities are great," he
Kozhichira said there was no fixed price for those wishing to stay in one of
the cozy lodgings. "Visitors make a donation of their choosing, so price
isn't a deterrent," he said. "You can also enjoy our organic food and
panels are plastered around to provide electricity. Soon windmills will be
installed. There is also a biogas digester system to turn human waste into gas
and water, said the priest, who hails from the southern state of Kerala.
the center's origin, he said he was responsible for handling local church
properties when he found this piece of land that was not being utilized.
"And so the onus fell on me to turn it into a socially useful project. I
wanted to make it a place for silent prayer," he recalled
fondness for St. Francis of Assisi, the Italian friar associated with the
patronage of animals and the natural environment, inspired him convert it into
an eco-spirituality center — and Ish Vatika was born.
Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the contentious Citizenship Amendment
Bill has appreciated the government’s decision to give Indian nationality to
non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan,
claiming such people were being subjected to “unfair treatment” in those
its 440-page report, the panel headed by BJP MP Rajendra Agrawal said, “Display
of such supportive and humanitarian approach on the part of the government
towards the minorities who fled the three countries, including Bangladesh, due
to religious persecution is quite appreciable.” The JPC report was submitted to
the Lok Sabha on Monday and adopted through a majority vote, amidst dissent
notes by opposition members.
bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act 1955 to grant Indian nationality to
people from minority communities -- Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and
Christians -- from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of
residence in India instead of 12 even if they don’t possess any proper
was an election promise of the BJP in 2014.
large number of people in Assam and other northeastern states have been
protesting against the bill, saying it would nullify the 1985 Assam Accord
under which any foreign national, irrespective of religion, who had entered the
state after 1971 should be deported.
Asom Gana Parishad, an ally in the BJP-led Assam government Monday announced
that it would snap ties with the saffron party over the Citizenship Amendment
Bill, which is expected to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
JPC report said, “The new cut of date implies that no more migrants would be
legally allowed India after December 31, 2014 and it should motivate every
stakeholder including the central government and the state governments to work
in unison to ensure putting in place foolproof measures to prevent illegal
migrants from entering the country, especially Assam, which has borne the
maximum impact of influx from Bangladesh.” The committee observed that several
Assamese organisations have protested against the proposed amendments on the
ground that the burden of the illegal migrants would be passed on to the state
besides conferring political and economic rights upon such migrants to the
detriment of indigenous communities.
view of such protests, the committee is not convinced with the Ministry of Home
Affairs’ statement that there is no specific report on the unexpected
demographic changes of certain North Eastern states, particularly Assam, due to
the influx of migrants from Bangladesh,” it said.
JPC said demographic changes have been indicated in successive census but the
illegal migrants claim that they are original residents and citizens of India
as they have been able to obtain documents, including ration card, driving
licence, passport etc.
in the committee’s opinion, the cut off date of December 31, 2014 assumes
greater significance as it has been intended to determine eligibility and
prevent further influx into India, negating thereby the possible malafide
design of the vested interests in the neighbouring countries,” it observed.
their dissent note, Congress Rajya Sabha members Bhubaneswar Kalita and Pradip
Bhattacharya said on certain grounds, the bill may create ethnic divisions in
Assam and the Northeast.
leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said in his dissent note that the bill contravenes
the provisions of the principal Act and goes against the spirit of the Assam
his dissent note, CPI-M member Mohammad Salim said the Indian citizenship flows
from the Constitution that grants it as a fundamental right and the right
cannot be religion specific or country of origin specific.
President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed
reducing the U.S. trade deficit with India and increasing their cooperation in
Afghanistan in a telephone call on Monday, the White House said.
leaders agreed to strengthen the U.S.-India strategic partnership in 2019 and
exchanged perspectives on how to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with India,
expand security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, and increase cooperation in
Afghanistan,” the White House said in a statement.
United States has slapped tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from India,
part of Trump’s drive to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and boost American
has threatened to retaliate but said it would not take action until the end of
Afghanistan, Trump is planning to withdraw more than 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S.
troops there, a U.S. official said last month.
The police seized a truck and arrested two arms and ammunition suppliers of
terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen from here on Monday.
cash amount of Rs 71,000 was also seized from the arrested individuals. The
accused have been identified as Nissar Ahmed and Aaqib.
of Police Kathua, Sridhar Patil said, “On receiving the information, a
checkpoint was laid down by Police party of Police Station Lakhanpur. The truck
was coming from Punjab. Both the accused are from Pulwama’s Awantipora
case under relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) has
been registered and further investigation is underway.
Tlaib’s thobe inside Congress puts Palestine on the map
Tlaib, one of the first Muslim women and the first of Palestinian origin to be
elected to Congress, made headlines during the past week when she took her oath
of office wearing the traditional Palestinian dress thobe.
of women joined Tlaib by publishing photos wearing their version of the Thobe
on twitter and other social media platforms through the hashtag
had also shared videos and photos of Tlaib while entering Congress and during
the swearing-in ceremony dressed in in the traditional Palestinian thobe, with
many expressing their pride.
prior to the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 3, Tlaib had announced that she
intended to wear the traditional Palestinian thobe.
Muaddi Darraj, an American writer of Arab origin, had launched the hashtag
campaign since Tlaib announced her intention to wear the thobe.
on, she had to change it to a “private event” on Facebook, for privacy reasons.
Until Thursday, only 500 person joined it. But those numbers then multiplied
hastily with the spread of Tlaib’s photos wearing her Palestinian dress inside
Congress, according to Darraj.
traditional dress is originally a Canaanite heritage, where ancient Canaanites
excelled in dyeing cotton and woolen fabrics, including clothes, before it
became a will inherited throughout generations.
Tlaib’s mother said that: “Wearing the traditional Palestinian dress during the
swear-in is equivalent to the whole world for her”.
carried a copy of the Quran on which her daughter had used during the ceremony
friends made billions from 9/11 attacks’
businessmen Larry Silverstein and Lewis Eisenberg, who are close friends of
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made billions of dollars from the
destruction of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, says Dr. Kevin Barrett,
an American academic who has been studying the events of 9/11 since late 2003.
Barrett, a founding member of the Scientific Panel for the Investigation of
9/11, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Monday while commenting
on the Dark Overlord’s threat of leaking thousands of secret documents related
hacker group has said the leak will have devastating consequences for the US
"deep state," that collection of members of permanent employees of
the intelligence, security and diplomatic services who operate independently of
changes in the administration as, in essence, a permanent government.
group has already released decryption keys for 650 documents it says are
related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but it is just a fraction of the 18,000 secret 9/11
documents probably stolen from insurers, law firms, and government agencies, RT
website reported on Friday.
hackers at the Dark Overlord have described the secret the September 11
documents as "the 9/11 Papers."
very interesting. I think the important thing that people need to know about
this is why it’s important, why there could be anything important in these
insurance companies' documents,” Dr. Barrett said.
we need to go back to 2001 when the World Trade Center complex and especially
the two Towers were creating terrible problems for the Port Authority which is
the city government agency that owned these buildings,” he added.
Twin Towers were riddled with asbestos fireproofing, which was illegal, and
they were under court order issued in January or early 2001 to remove the
asbestos from the Towers. This would have cost billions, perhaps double-digit
billions of dollars – economically a non-starter,” he stated.
York had been trying to find a way to demolish the Towers for years. They had
high vacancy rate and antiquated communication infrastructure. But they could
not tear them down because there was no way to do it economically,” the analyst
Silverstein purportedly speaking in April 2000 about World Trade Center 7.
two months before 9/11 an alleged organized crime figure named Larry Silverstein
got a non-low-bid contract from Lewis Eisenberg, who was the head of the Port
Authority. Both of these guys are very close to Netanyahu. They are hardcore
Zionist billionaires,” he noted.
walked out with close to $5bn in cash’
Silverstein got his contract from the Port Authority. He bought the entire
Trade Center on a 100-year lease. He only put down 15 million – with an m –
million of his own money, along with a hundred million of his partners' and for
that he got the Trade Center for a hundred years,” the commentator said.
had the Trade Center not been demolished, this would have been the worst real
estate investment in history. But because Silverstein doubled the insurance
money from what the Port Authority had held, and managed to get lucky on
September 11, he walked out of this with close to $5 billion in cash,” he
had negotiated it with the insurance company to give him the cash settlement
beforehand. And then he also claimed a double indemnity, that is he wanted to
double the money because he said there were two separate and unrelated
terrorist attacks, namely the two alleged airplanes,” the researcher said.
he made a tremendous amount of money out of this. And the insurance company
lost—or some insurance companies lost. The question is which insurance
companies lost billions of dollars to Larry Silverstein, Lewis Eisenberg and
the deep state 9/11 insurance fraud crime, which of course was also done for
geopolitical reasons,” he observed.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday, that Turkey had promised to
protect Kurdish fighters in Syria, as he left on a regional tour that follows
President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to pull troops.
said the assurance came from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had
repeatedly threatened US-allied Kurdish fighters in Syria battling ISIS
had spoken with Trump shortly before the US leader’s December 19 declaration
that ISIS was defeated and that he would quickly pull all 2,000 US troops out
Erdogan made a commitment to President Trump as the two of them were discussing
what this ought to look like - that the Turks would continue the counter-ISIS
campaign after our departure and that the Turks would ensure that the folks
that we’d fought with, that had assisted us in the counter-ISIS campaign, would
be protected,” Pompeo told CNBC television.
was elaborating on his remark last week that the United States was working to
ensure that “the Turks don’t slaughter the Kurds” - a choice of words that
angered Turkey, which said the top US diplomat had a “worrying lack of
US-backed Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units form the backbone of the
opposition Syrian Democratic Forces, but Erdogan considers them linked with the
PKK, which has waged a bloody insurgency inside Turkey in the name of the
is traveling to visit eight Arab capitals to discuss Syria and also to build an
alliance against regional power Iran, a top priority of Trump.
to Pompeo’s trip, National Security Advisor John Bolton is set to hold talks
Tuesday in Turkey after a visit to Israel, which has been especially concerned
about a US withdrawal.
are reportedly underway in US Senate to block a pro-Israel bill in response to
the ongoing government shutdown, blamed on US President Donald Trump.
minority leader Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democratic leaders are behind
the effort, according to a report by Washington Examiner on Monday.
bill is aimed at “allowing state and local governments to divest from entities
that boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel because of its occupation of the
upper chamber of US Congress is set late Tuesday to hold a procedural vote on
the bill against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
BDS movement was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations to
initiate “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its
obligations under international law.”
BDS is gaining momentum in the United States and poses a serious threat to
Israel’s “hegemonic power” in Washington, according to Myles Hoenig, a
political activist based in Maryland.
is reportedly joining Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, a top Democrat on
the Foreign Relations Committee, to vote against moving the bill forward.
two senators were themselves among the cosponsors of the bill as it was
introduced in 2017.
move is reportedly in protest to the government shutdown by Democrats, who are
demanding that Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell facilitate reopening of
nine agencies and departments closed over government shutdown.
for the wall has led to a budget impasse, causing the ongoing partial
demands $5 billion, for which he is "proud" to shut down the
government but Democrats are not offering more than $1.3 billion.
U.S. President Barack Obama's support for the PYD/YPG to cover up for America’s
political and military failures in Syria has become an indispensable strategy
that reveals the way a democratic country partners with a terror group.
laid the groundwork for its relationship with the PYD/YPG, the Syrian offshoot
of the PKK terrorist organization, at the end of 2014 in the town of Ayn
al-Arab, or Kobani, through its air support against Daesh terrorists.
U.S. military has routinely provided weapons assistance to the organization in
Syria, but the Department of Defense (Pentagon) has long denied this.
September 2015, the Obama administration scrapped a training program for
opposition Syrian fighters and announced that it would work with a new local
the leadership of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), the support given to the
PYD/YPG continued on behalf of a fictitious group called the "Syrian Arab
Coalition", whose name was not known before and whose members were also
the Pentagon persistently claimed that trucks loaded with arms were not being
sent to the PYD/YPG but to the Syrian Arab Coalition, neither Turkish nor
American media was satisfied with this explanation.
The New York Times wrote that the Syrian Arab Coalition was merely a name and
that there was no U.S.-led group other than the PYD/YPG.
the terrorist group was expanding, with American support, its occupation of the
regions where Arabs, Assyrians and Turkmens as well as Kurds lived, it formed a
front group called the "Syrian Democratic Forces", or SDF.
President Donald Trump ordered the Defense Department to arm the PYD/YPG in May
has characterized its relationship with the terrorist organization as
"conditional", "limited" and "temporary",
claiming the weapons were not sent to the PKK's Syrian branch to be used
against the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
U.S. National Counterterrorism Center designated the YPG and PYD as the Syrian
branch of the PKK in its list of terrorist organizations. Later, it removed the
part related to the PYD/YPG.
in a 2018 country report by the Central Intelligence Agency, the YPG and PYD
were defined as the branches of the PKK in Syria.
to documents related to the Pentagon budget seen by Anadolu Agency, the PYD/YPG
was allocated $500 million in aid for 2017 and $550 million for 2018.
Pentagon also announced that after operations against Daesh were completed,
arms support for the PYD/YPG terror group would be halted and their weapons
would be recovered.
after the PYD/YPG attacked rural areas of Deir ez-Zor where oil wells are
located, the U.S. rejected taking back their weapons and said the military aid
would proceed as long as fighting against Daesh continued.
this move, the U.S.-led coalition announced the controversial decision to
sponsor the creation of a 30,000-strong "border security” force in PYD/YPG
controlled areas in northeastern Syria.
Dillon, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition against Daesh, said last January
that half of the force would be composed of militants in the ranks of the SDF,
which was met with a harsh reaction from Turkey.
Anadolu Agency learned that in the 2018 budget, the Pentagon allocated $250
million in funds under the name of "border protection measures" in
addition to $300 million in weapons aid.
failed to deliver on its promises to Turkey that it would take the PYD/YPG out
of the Syrian city of Manbij apart from the collection of the weapons given to
unidentified amounts of weapons aid, the Pentagon is said to have delivered
more than 4,000 trucks of weapons to the PYD/YPG organization.
also promised that the terror group would withdraw from Manbij after it was
cleared of Daesh terrorists.
the U.S.-led coalition and CENTCOM announced that the PYD/YPG withdrew from
Manbij, which later proved to be false.
carried out two operations in northern Syria -- Euphrates Shield and Olive
Branch. Ankara announced a plan to carry out a third operation in the northeast
against PYD/YPG terrorists, which disturbed the U.S.
month, Trump made the unexpected decision to withdraw all 2,000 U.S. troops
from Syria, sparking criticism from many allies and security aides, including
his own Cabinet.
the original withdrawal announcement, Trump claimed American forces were
leaving as they had defeated Daesh.
Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally but fierce critic of the announced
withdrawal, said it would embolden the Syrian regime and its main allies --
Russia and Iran -- while undermining the fight against Daesh.
National Security Adviser John Bolton said the U.S. will not withdraw troops
from northeastern Syria unless the Turkish government guarantees it won’t
attack “Kurdish fighters,” referring to the PYD/YPG terrorist group.
its 30-year terrorist campaign, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives.
States President Donald Trump insisted on Monday that his policy on withdrawing
troops from Syria had not changed, even as the drawdown timeline shifted from
“coming back now” to “leaving at a proper pace”, which his national security
advisor has suggested could take months, if not years.
December, Mr Trump made the surprise announcement that the US was making a full
withdrawal of the estimated 2000 US troops in Syria. The American troops are
stationed in north east Syria to assist the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic
Forces in their fight against ISIS.
all coming back, and they’re coming back now,” Mr Trump declared in a video on
the time, US Defence Department officials told the New York Times that Mr Trump
had ordered the withdrawal to be completed in 30 days.
weeks on though, National Security Advisor John Bolton has put conditions on
the withdrawal that could take months, or even years to fulfill. On a visit to
Israel on Sunday, Mr Bolton said that US forces would remain in Syria until the
last vestiges of ISIS were defeated and Nato-ally Turkey had offered assurances
that it would not attack Kurdish forces allied to the US.
don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully
co-ordinated with and agreed to by the United States,” Mr Bolton said. “So that
they meet the president’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that
have fought with us are not endangered.”
Monday meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was travelling to the
Middle East to reassure allies that the US remained committed to defeating
ISIS, despite Mr Trump having announced a completed victory over ISIS as his
justification for withdrawing troops from Syria.
confusion over the timeline for withdrawal reflects confusion in the White
House, the Pentagon and the State Department, staff of whom were, like US
allies, not informed of the president’s decision in advance.
White House observers said the disarray appeared unprecedented. Aaron David
Miller, a Middle East expert at the Woodrow Wilson Centre said in 40 years of
watching Washington he had never seen anything like it. "Makes Marx Bros.
movie look organized," he wrote on Twitter.
national security advisor's conditions for withdrawal had effectively committed
Mr Trump to a long-term deployment in Syria, Mr Miller tweeted. "Bolton’s
conditions can never be met; the Iran hawk outfoxes Trump and commits US to
another forever deployment."
Monday though, Mr Trump insisted his policy remained unchanged. “We will be
leaving at a proper pace, while at the same time continuing to fight ISIS,” he
wrote on Twitter.
vice president on Monday received the European commissioner for humanitarian
aid and crisis management in the capital Ankara, according to presidential
closed-door meeting between Fuat Oktay and the EU’s Christos Stylianides and an
accompanying delegation was held at the presidential complex, said the sources,
who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
two discussed Turkey's EU membership process as well as the global migration
problem, in particular the Syrians in Turkey and EU fund allocated for the
Syrians in Turkey.
and Stylianides also discussed humanitarian aid and crisis management and
agreed to hold a joint earthquake exercise in Istanbul in the coming period.
March 2016, EU and Turkey reached an agreement to stop irregular migration
through the Aegean Sea and improve the conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey.
EU pledged €6 billion ($7.44 billion) in funding for the refugees, and promised
to mobilize a second €3 billion ($3.72 billion) tranche by the end of 2018.
has accused the EU of failing to deliver the full amount of funds in the
hosts over 3.5 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the
world. The country has spent more than $32 billion from its own national
resources to help and shelter refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil
country also has prevented a large refugee influx from spilling over elsewhere
in the world, foremost to Europe, thanks to the opportunities it has provided
and Greek anti-narcotics forces seized 'large amounts' of opiate drugs in
Greece's Piraeus port in capital Athens, according to security sources on
sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Turkish anti-narcotics
police received a tip off about the existence of a "large amount" of
opiate drugs in a container coming from Syria in Piraeus port.
special team was sent to Greece to share the intelligence report with Greek
a joint operation, Turkish and Greek police searched a container at the port
and seized opiate drugs.
man has set himself alight inside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, the
services, including a medical helicopter, attended the scene on Monday morning
and the man suffered minor injuries, local news said.
consulate could not be contacted for comment on the matter and Dutch police
told reporters that as they considered the incident an attempted suicide they
would not be commenting.
reason for the attempted self-immolation has been given.
news reporter, Robert Bas said the man did not appear to be seriously injured
as he left the consulate. "He was approachable and was taken to a hospital
with burns," he said.
diplomatic relations between the Dutch Government and Turkey only resumed in
July 2018, following the withdrawal of the Turkish ambassador from the
Netherlands in March 2017.
least 29 Taliban militants have been killed during the airstrike of the
coalition forces in southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan.
to the military sources, the airstrikes were carried out earlier this week in
Shahwali Kot district of the province.
sources further added that a commander of Taliban was also among those killed.
the meantime, a coalition strike destroyed 3,000kg of homemade explosives,
suicide vests and IEDs in Khak-e-Safid district of Farah province.
forces also conducted a force protection patrol operation in Shahwali Kot
district of Kandahar which resulted in the killing of 5 Taliban fighters killed,
the sources said, adding that coalition forces conducted an airstrike killing 2
Taliban fighters and destroying one vehicle in Pashtun Kot district of Faryab.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the recent operations and airstrikes so far.
comes as the Afghan and coalition forces have stepped up ground operations and
airstrikes in the restive parts of the country in a bid to suppress the
anti-government armed elements and pave the way for a political settlement to
end the ongoing violence.
prominent leader of the Red Unit of Taliban has been killed during the
operations in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan, the Afghan military said
to a statement released by 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the
North, Mawlavi Habib, a high ranking leader of the Red Unit of Taliban has been
killed in Almar district.
statement further added that Mullah Sarwar, the district shadow chief of the
group for Almar district has also been killed during the same operations.
weapons and a large quantity of weapons and munitions have also been
confiscated during the operations, the 209th Shaheen Corps added in its
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the report so far.
Shaheen Military Corps had earlier reported that the Afghan and coalition
forces have intensified ground operations and airstrikes against Taliban
militants in two districts of Faryab province, leaving dozens of militants
Afghan police forces have thwarted anti-government armed militants bid to
detonate a mosque in western Herat province of Afghanistan.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) said Monday that the militants were looking to
detonate two improvised explosive devices inside a mosque in Adraskan district
but the National Police forces discovered and defused the explosives with the
support of local residents.
to a statement released by MoI, “The criminal terrorists do not even respect
holy places as part of their activities against Islam and humanity.”
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the bombing plot so far.
least 21 Afghan security forces have been killed as Taliban militants stormed
security checkpoints in the western province of Badghis, in one of the
deadliest attacks to hit the area in months.
officials said two security posts in different parts of the province, which
borders Turkmenistan, had been stormed by the militants overnight.
14 Afghan policemen and seven pro-government forces lost their lives, while
nine others were injured in the raids, according to Abdul Aziz Bek, head of the
Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, put the number of fatalities at 34,
claiming that the militants had seized many weapons and ammunition from
government forces during the raids.
Shahabi, a spokesman for the Badghis provincial governor, also aid over 15
Taliban militants had been killed and 10 others wounded in the ensuing clashes.
a separate incident on Monday, at least five civilians were killed and eight
wounded in a bomb blast in the eastern province of Paktika.
Taliban left the bomb in a village square, said provincial official Mohammad
Taliban militants have in recent months stepped up attacks on security forces
across Afghanistan, killing a large number of police forces as well as
comes as representatives from the militant group, the US, and regional
countries met for a fourth time in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi last month for
talks to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan. Another meeting is also scheduled
for later this month.
Afghan Taliban representatives and US officials will sit down to two days of
peace talks on Wednesday in Qatar but Afghan government officials will not be
involved, senior Taliban members said.
Taliban have rejected numerous requests from regional powers to allow Afghan
officials to take part in the talks, insisting that the United States is their
main adversary in the 17-year war and that Kabul is a “puppet” regime.
insurgents, seeking to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ouster by
US-led troops, called off their meeting with the US officials in Saudi Arabia
this week because of Riyadh’s insistence on bringing the Western-backed Afghan
government to the table.
talks will be the fourth in a series between Taliban leaders and US special
envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.
mutual consultations, we are going to meet US officials in Doha on Wednesday.
The meeting will continue for two days — Wednesday and Thursday,” said a senior
member of the Afghan Taliban on condition of anonymity.
and Iranian officials said they were trying to persuade the Taliban to meet
senior Taliban leader confirmed the Qatar meeting and said no other country
would be involved.
Arabia, Pakistan and the UAE took part in the last round of talks in December.
time we want to hold talks with the American officials,” said a Taliban leader
based in Afghanistan, adding that they would discuss a US withdrawal, prisoner
exchange and the lifting of a ban on movement of their leaders.
war in Afghanistan is America’s longest overseas military intervention. It has
cost Washington nearly a trillion dollars and killed tens of thousands of
United States, which sent troops to Afghanistan in the wake of the Sept. 11,
2001, attacks on New York and Washington and at the peak of the deployment had
more than 100,000 troops in the country, withdrew most of its forces in 2014,
but still keeps around 14,000 troops there as part of a NATO-led mission aiding
Afghan security forces and hunting militants.
US Embassy in Afghanistan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Terrorism, Palestine and regional media strategy are among several issues being
discussed during a periodic meeting organized by the Council of Arab
event is being held in Riyadh after it was declared the capital of Arab media
by the Arab League in May.
Al-Ghamdi, undersecretary for foreign media, said the ministry seeks to make
the Saudi capital a hub for media-related events held by the league.
said officials at the event, which lasts two days, would discuss issues
pertaining to regional aspirations and challenges.
items on the agenda are sustainable development plans, the role of regional
media in quelling terrorist narratives, international action plans to combat
negative stereotypes, Palestine, as well as dates and venues for upcoming
events being held by the council.
total of 17 Arab organizations, including broadcasting unions, GCC officials
and representatives from numerous Arab universities, took part in the meeting.
Arabia is chair of the Permanent Arab Media Committee, another affiliate of the
sources said that the Syrian Army has dispatched a military convoy comprising
tens of Syrian soldiers together with over 10 military and armored vehicles as
well as heavy weaponry to Sahl al-Ghab in Northwestern Hama from Hama military
sources, meantime, said that another Syrian Army military convoy has been
dispatched to a military point in Western Aleppo to confront the terrorist
the Arabic-language al-Youm news website reported that according to
information, the Syrian army, with the support of the Syrian-Russian air
forces, is preparing for a major rapid operation in the outskirts of Idlib.
sources noted that the Syrian Army's preparations for launching military
operations near Idlib is taking place at a time when Al-Nusra Front terrorists
are still present in the demilitarized zone and the negotiations between Russia
and Turkey on Idlib has reached a deadlock.
further pointed to the preparedness of 45,000 Syrian troops in the outskirts of
Idlib, and said that the Syrian army's military operations might start from
Northwestern Hama (Sahl al-Ghab and Western Idlib), which comes under
continuous attacks by Tahrir al-Sham and Jeish al-Izzah, and followed by
another operation in Southwestern Aleppo.
a relevant development on Sunday, the Syrian army dispatched large military
convoys and hardware to Northern Hama and Southern Idlib for upcoming battles
with the terrorists as clashes between the government troops and the militants
in the demilitarized zone have increased, media reports said.
Arabic-language service of Russian Sputnik news agency quoted military sources
as saying that the Syrian army's military convoys comprising armored vehicles,
artillery and personnel-carriers have been sent to Northern Syria from the
noted that the dispatch of Syrian troops and military equipment to the Northern
and Southern fronts of Idlib indicates imminent military operations in the
region against Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the
Al-Nusra Front) terrorists who are in control of major areas in these regions.
the Syrian army's artillery and missile units pounded and destroyed the
terrorists' military positions and movements before they could target the
army's military positions in Northern Hama from Wadi al-Dourat, al-Latamanieh,
Hasraya and Lahaya regions.
Arabic-language al-Ahd news website reported that the corpses of a number of
civilians, including children and women, who were killed in the US airstrikes
on the city of Raqqa have been found from under the debris of ruined buildings
near Moaviyeh Abi Safian School destroyed in the US raids over the past year.
activists in Raqqa, meantime, said that bodies of a sum of 100 ISIL victims
have also been found in a mass grave in Panorama district in the Western part
of Raqqa city.
year after the US and its allies earned control over the Raqqa city, the dead
bodies of Syrian civilians are still retrieved from mass graves and debris in
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last month that the bodies of
over 8,000 Syrians killed in the bombing raids carried out by the US and the
coalition led by it had been found in mass graves in Syria’s Raqqa after the
rubble was partially cleared away.
week, the Syrian government, in its letters addressed to the UN secretary
general and the UN Security Council president, provided the tragic statistics
on the victims of the coalition’s bombing raids in the city of Raqqa during its
‘liberation’ from ISIL (known as ISIS or Daesh)," she noted.
bodies of over 4,000 people were found while clearing away the rubble in two of
the city’s residential neighborhoods left over from the airstrikes and also
around the stadium and the zoo. Those were mainly women, the elderly and
children. In addition, a mass grave where more than 2,500 people were buried
was uncovered at a farm near a pediatric clinic and the National Hospital, while
another burial site was opened near Al-Panorama where 1,500 bombing raids’
victims were buried," Zakharova added.
letters stressed that to date just two percent of the rubble had been cleared
away in Raqqa, which had been literally razed to the ground," Zakharova
extremist group claimed that one of its suicide bombers killed several people
when he blew himself up on Monday, in a public building in the Syrian city of
Raqqa, which is under the control of a US backed Kurdish-led militia.
extremist group claimed responsibility for the reported attack in a statement
issued by the affiliated Amaq news agency. The statement said the attack
targeted a recruitment center in Raqqa and that 17 people were killed or
wounded. Amaq provided no further details.
was no immediate reaction from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF),
which seized the city in Syria’s northeast from ISIS with the crucial help of
US-led air strikes in 2017 after months of devastating fighting.
Raqqa residents reached by Reuters said they heard an explosion in a central
district of the city where the SDF military has offices. Militiamen had
cordoned off the area and surrounding streets after the blast, the residents
which ISIS declared the capital of its self-proclaimed caliphate, was taken by
the SDF six years into Syria’s civil war after a protracted battle that killed
thousands of civilians and wrecked much of the city.
and restoring Raqqa, which was once home to more than 200,000 people, is
proving to be a monumental task.
losing almost all the large swathes of territory it took in lightning
offensives in Syria and Iraq in 2014-15, ISIS has returned to deadly
hit-and-run attacks and ambushes.
region in Saudi Arabia has been the scene of fresh bloody violence. Saudi
forces have stormed a small village in the Shia-populated region, killing five
people and injuring an unspecified number of others.
media users have reported clashes, mortar attacks and shooting in the Umm
al-Hamam village on Monday, and have even identified some of the victims.
to local sources, Saudi forces surrounded the village for about 15 hours. They
stormed a number of rural houses, claiming they were searching for a number of
situated in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, has been the scene of anti-regime
protests since 2011, with demonstrators demanding free speech, the release of
political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination.
has suppressed pro-democracy rallies, but they have intensified since January
2016 when the Al Saud regime executed respected Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr
2017, Awamiyah, another Shia-populated Qatif town, witnessed a deadly military
crackdown on protests that were being held against the regime’s attempt to raze
the historical Musawara neighborhood.
rulers claimed the district’s narrow streets served as a hideout for armed men
who were behind the attacks on Saudi forces in Eastern Province.
then deployed military forces with heavy weapons to the town, while bulldozers
escorted by heavily armored military vehicles demolished several houses,
businesses and historical sites across the region.
deadly bomb attack, claimed by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, has hit a
center for US-backed Kurdish militants in the northern Syrian city of Raqqah,
leaving at least four civilians and a militant dead.
so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fatalities took place on
Monday, when the attacker detonated his explosive vest after entering the
center run by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), part of the
so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that has close military cooperation
with the US.
suicide attacker wearing an explosive belt blew himself up inside a YPG center
after opening fire on a security checkpoint at its entrance," said Rami
Abdel-Rahman, the Observatory chief.
residents said the Kurdish militants had cordoned off the area and the nearby
streets after the blast.
claimed responsibility for the assault in a statement issued via its Amaq news
agency, describing the site as a "recruitment center" for Kurdish
US has been arming and training Kurdish militants under the banner of helping
them fight Daesh, but Syria and several other countries see ulterior motives
behind the deployment.
and its allies pushed the Takfiri terrorist group out of its last stronghold in
the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr early last year.
a key US ally in the region, has repeatedly questioned Washington's deployment
of heavy weapons in Syria despite the defeat of Daesh in much of the Arab
views the YPG as a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been
fighting a decades-long deadly war against Turkey for an independent state in
the country’s southeast.
forces, who were left exposed by US President Donald Trump's pledge to pull out
American soldiers from Syria, have asked Syrian government forces for help amid
indications that Turkey is considering a military campaign against them.
security forces have killed a high-ranking commander of the Daesh Takfiri
terrorist group and detained more than a dozen other terrorists during a
counter-terrorism operation in the country’s northern province of Nineveh as
government troops and allied fighters from Popular Mobilization Units are
trying to purge the Arab country of the last remnants of the terror outfit.
from the Nineveh Operations Command launched a major security campaign in
Badush district, northeast of Mosul, and managed to kill a senior Daesh
leader,” Provincial police officer Major Azad Fouad told Arabic-language Dijlah
television network on Sunday.
troops also arrested 17 Daesh militants,” Fouad said, adding that a large
amount of munitions and firearms were seized from the Takfiris as well.
development occurred a day after fighters from Popular Mobilization Units –
commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – and soldiers from the
Salahuddin Operations Command launched joint operations in 30 villages of
Iraq’s north-central province of Salahuddin, destroying three militant hideouts
as well as two underground tunnels used by Daesh members.
al-Maalomah news agency, citing an unnamed Hashd al-Sha’abi source, reported
that the fighters also detonated 70 explosive devices in the process. Two Hashd
al-Sha’abi fighters were injured after they entered a booby-trapped house.
Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, declared the end of military operations
against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.
July 10 that year, he had formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul, which
served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in Iraq.
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd
al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of
fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
army raids newspaper over Boko Haram article
Nigeria (CNN)Nigerian soldiers raided the offices of a local newspaper and took
away journalists who wrote an article that "divulged classified
information" and put its troops' lives at risk, the army said Monday.
Daily Trust said security agents "invaded" the newspaper's bureau in
the country's troubled northeastern region and took away two journalists who
worked on a story about the military's operations against terror group Boko
soldiers shut the gate of the Maiduguri regional office, after arresting the
two editorial staff on sight at the time of the raid," the newspaper said
on its website.
army has faced fierce criticism following the raid. Garba Shehu, a spokesman
for President Muhammadu Buhari, said on Sunday that the military had been
ordered to leave the newspaper's premises and that differences should be worked
out through dialogue.
army said it did not arrest the journalists but "invited" them to
discuss the security implications of the article.
would like to state that the invitation of those involved in divulging military
plans was done with the best intention in order to make them realise the import
of such acts to our national security," army spokesman Gen. Sani Usman
said in a statement on Facebook.
publication contained sensitive information that disclosed plans to counter the
terrorist activities in Nigeria's troubled northeast, he added.
main opposition party has seized the opportunity to score campaign points
against Buhari and called the raid "an attack on freedom of the
should not be used to target law-abiding citizens," a spokesman for
opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar said in a statement.
bases have come under intense attack from Boko Haram militants in recent months
with reports of large numbers of army casualties. The army's leadership often
denies these reports.
November, it was forced to admit that 44 soldiers died in an attack on its
military base in Metele village, Borno.
have also reportedly reclaimed Baga, a village on the outskirts of Maiduguri
and hundreds of residents, including the village head, have fled their homes.
two al-Shabaab assassins were convicted for the murder of a traditional elder
assassins identified as Ali Hassan 25, and Abdirahman Isse Ali 22 were
reportedly caught red-handed to the police after they killed elder Hilowle
of Somali military court said Ali and Hassan who are members of the armed group
al-Shabaab were convicted of killing Hussein in Wadajir district last year.
Deputy Chairperson of Somali military court, Mohamed Abdi Mumin who was present
at the scene of an execution in Mogadishu on Monday morning said the court
found sufficient evidence to support the charges leveled against the two.
were executed by firing squad.
military court handles terror-related cases mainly against the members of the
armed group al -Shabaab.
court has previous sentenced several armed group members found guilty of murder
and taking part in the attack against the government of Somalia.
Sunday, the court sentenced ex-Somali soldier to death for murder and three
other suspects to three years in jail for assembling explosive devices in
Baidoa, Southwest state.
denies Netanyahu’s claim of airspace access for Israel-bound flights
President Omar al-Bashir has denied claims by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
that Israel-bound planes are allowed to use the Sudanese airspace.
received a request to use our airspace on the route to Tel Aviv. The request
did not come from El Al, but from Kenya Airways — we refused,” Bashir told a
local Sudanese television outlet.
claimed last month that Israel had been allowed to fly over the North African
country, which does not maintain diplomatic ties with the occupying regime.
we can fly over Egypt, Chad, and apparently, we can fly over Sudan, and then we
can fly directly to Brazil, which would save about two hours,” Netanyahu
claimed, despite the fact that he did not use the same route during his recent
trip to Brazil.
media reports have been suggesting that Tel Aviv is actively working to
establish diplomatic ties with Sudan, as part of wider efforts to upgrade
relations with Central African countries.
on the same reports, Israeli and Sudanese representatives have held a secret
meeting to discuss diplomatic relations in exchange for financial Israeli aid
to the African country.
to the daily Haaretz, Israel has urged the US and other countries to improve
their relationship with Sudan in response.
on Thursday lamented that he had been advised to normalize ties with Israel in
order to ensure stability in his country after fresh anti-government protests
has been gripped by mass protests triggered by rising prices and shortages of
food and fuel since December 19. The public display of anger later escalated
into calls for President Bashir to go.
Sunday, hundreds of protesters marched in the capital Khartoum in an attempt to
reach the presidential palace but were dispersed by security forces with tear
gas and stun grenades.
also broke out in the city of Madani southeast of the capital, with the
demonstrators chanting for "peace, justice, freedom". An
anti-government rally was held in the northern town of Atbara, where the
current unrest first erupted last month.
country is mired in economic woes, including an acute foreign currency shortage
and soaring inflation, running at close to 70 percent.
have declared curfews and states of emergency across several states. Residents
say police have used live ammunition in some cases to disperse the protesters.
Boko Haram terrorists were killed and at least three of their gun trucks
destroyed in weekend air raids in northeastern Nigeria, the military said
Monday, amid increased fighting between troops and militants in the area.
air attacks followed militants’ attempts to breach the location of the ground
troops in the town of Damasak in the restive Borno north, according to Air
Force spokesman Ibikunle Daramola, an air commodore.
Mi-35M helicopter gunship engaged the terrorists' gun trucks in successive
waves of attacks as they retreated, destroying and immobilizing three of them
while causing significant damage to others and neutralizing several
terrorists,” he said.
attacks were clearly against the Boko Haram faction allied to Daesh.
an apparent attempt to rebut the military statement, Daesh claimed that its
fighters killed at least 15 Nigerian soldiers in the Damasak encounter and
another five in a separate IED attack, as well as to have destroyed or seized
tanks and other vehicles.
Israeli army said Monday it had carried out further air raids against Hamas
positions in the Gaza Strip in response to a rocket being fired over its
Israeli air defense system intercepted the rocket which was fired overnight
from the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave, the army.
and helicopter gunships then raided “terrorist targets at Hamas military camps”
on the Gaza Strip, the statement said.
latest raids follow strikes by the Israeli army on two Hamas posts on Sunday,
after balloons carried an explosive device over the border fence.
Hamas security source said one strike occurred east of Khan Yunis in the
southern Gaza Strip and hit an observation point for Hamas’s armed wing, while
the second was east of Gaza City. The security source said no injuries had been
will bar Gazans from crossing into its territory from Tuesday, the enclave’s
ruler Hamas said, after the Palestinian Authority withdrew staff from the
border point over alleged abuses.
partial closure will raise fears over the impact on Gaza’s two million
residents, for whom a rare opening of the crossing in recent months has
provided an opportunity to leave the strip.
statement late Monday from the Hamas-run interior ministry said Egyptian
authorities had informed them the crossing “will be limited to only the arrival
of individuals and the entry of goods”.
did not say for how long it was expected to be closed for those leaving, and
there was no immediate comment from Egypt.
- the only way for Gazans to leave the Palestinian enclave that bypasses Israel
- was closed Monday due to the Orthodox Christmas holiday but had been expected
to reopen both directions Tuesday.
PA’s civil affairs authority on Sunday announced its staff would no longer man
the crossing, accusing Hamas of “summoning, arresting and abusing our
employees”, according to official Palestinian news agency WAFA.
on Monday Hamas employees retook the post in what they said was an attempt to
maintain border control after the shock PA withdrawal.
AFP journalist saw Hamas officials at the border crossing’s main gate and
inside accompanying offices in southern Gaza.
interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bozum said his organisation aimed to
“protect the interests of our people.”
seized control of Gaza in 2007 in a near civil war with Palestinian president
Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah party.
the PA took control of Rafah in November 2017, as part of a deal for Egypt to
reopen a border that had been entirely shut from August that year and largely
sealed for years before that.
PA’s takeover of Rafah in 2017 was seen as a first step towards implementing a
reconciliation agreement between it and Hamas.
deal has subsequently broken down and Abbas’ PA has taken a series of measures
has allowed the border to open regularly since August 2018, providing a
lifeline to the enclave’s residents.
has maintained a crippling blockade of Gaza for more than a decade, in a bid to
isolate Hamas and keep it from obtaining weapons.
say the policy amounts to collective punishment.
and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.
Turki Al-Maliki, spokesperson of the Arab coalition supporting the Yemeni
legitimate government, confirmed on Monday that they are providing all
necessary facilities to the United Nations’ monitoring team in Hodeidah port
spokesperson said in a press conference that assistance was provided to open
all passages for humanitarian aids as mentioned in Sweden agreement, but the
pro-Iranian Houthi militias refused allowing a relief vessel to leave
for the security situation, Col. Al-Maliki said that the Houthis have violated
the ceasefire deal in Hodeidah since going into effect, 368 times.
pointed out that the pro-Iranian militias used prohibited weapons, deployed
snipers and launched two ballistic missiles since the agreement reached in
Sweden last December.
his press conference, the coalition spokesperson said that the Houthis are
digging trenches in Hodeidah, which indicates their intention not to implement
of the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement Hamas have retaken control of
the Rafah Crossing between the besieged Gaza Strip and Egypt after the
Palestinian Authority (PA) withdrew its own staffers from the important
gateway, officials say.
resistance movement took control of the crossing in a bid “to avoid a vacuum,”
AFP quoted a Hamas border official, speaking on condition of anonymity, as
saying on Monday.
Hamas officials were seen at the border crossing’s main gate and inside
accompanying offices in southern Gaza Strip on Monday, AFP reported.
development came just a day after the PA’s civil affairs authority accused
Hamas in a statement, cited by official Palestinian news agency WAFA, of
“summoning, arresting and abusing our employees.”
PA, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, added that “hampering [of]
their work and tasks” by Hamas ultimately led the authority to the conclusion
that the presence of its staffers at the Rafah Crossing had been “futile.”
the sole crossing point between Egypt and blockaded Gaza, was closed on Monday
due to the Orthodox Christmas holiday. However, it was not clear whether it
would reopen as scheduled on Tuesday.
Hamas’ Interior Ministry Spokesman Iyad al-Bozum said that the resistance
movement “will protect the interests of our people.”
Fatah party, led by President Abbas, and Hamas have been at odds ever since the
latter scored a landslide victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections in
2006. Since 2007, Hamas has been governing Gaza while Fatah has been based in
the autonomous parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The two rival
Palestinian factions finally agreed on a unity government in April 2014, but it
fell apart months later.
the PA took control of Rafah in November 2017, as part of a deal for Egypt to
reopen a border that had been completely closed from August that year and
largely sealed for years before that. Cairo has allowed the crossing to be open
regularly since August 2018, providing a lifeline to desperate Gazans.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already said that he would put
his stamp on the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation only if Hamas recognizes Israel,
cuts ties with Iran, and disbands its military wing, known as the Ezzedine
al-Qassam Brigades, and its estimated 25,000 fighters, who have defended Gaza
against three deadly Israeli wars over the past decade.
has imposed movement restrictions on the Gaza Strip since the early 1990s.
Restrictions intensified in June 2007 when Tel Aviv imposed a land, sea and air
blockade on Gaza, citing security concerns.
in July last year, Tel Aviv also restricted the fishing area for Gazans to just
three nautical miles as part of punitive measures against them over the launch
of incendiary balloons from the Palestinian coastal enclave into the occupied
territories as part of ongoing protests against the decades-long Israeli
the past few years, Israeli troops have also carried out over a hundred
assaults on Palestinian boats, arresting dozens of fishermen and confiscating
Yemen’s army shot down a Houthi military aircraft west of Al-Jouf province on
Tuesday, Saudi state news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.
statement issued on the Yemeni Ministry of Defense’s official website
‘September Net’ read that “the military forces shot down a plane carrying
explosives this morning in the Masloub Directorate, and after examining the
wreckage it was found to be made in Iran.”
eight Houthi militants were killed and others wounded by government forces
after trying to infiltrate Yemeni army positions in the same province.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab
World News, South
Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World
Muslim News, Women
in Islam, Islamic
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism